As we prepare to go to the Northwest, we share another experience from here in the Southwest!! (Part 2)

So what does one do after being bombarded with all the Alien Stuff? One goes and eats!!! And what better than McDonald’s, but not just any McDonald’s…….

IMG_1008 IMG_1564 IMG_1565 IMG_1568 IMG_1572 IMG_1573

This is the only Space Themed McDonald’s in existence. How appropriate for Roswell!!!! But not just McDonald’s capitalizes on the UFO stigma of Roswell, we saw this at a car dealership.


We left Roswell and headed to Alamogordo, NM to the New Mexico State University Space Museum. Really neat place to visit if you are in the area. With NASA having a site just outside Las Cruces and White Sands Missile Range stretching between Las Cruces and Alamogordo it is no wonder NMSU “Aggies” has degrees dealing in “Space Stuff”.


Brad still trying to land the Space Shuttle without killing the crew.

Brad still trying to land the Space Shuttle without killing the crew.

Brad still trying to land the Space Shuttle without killing the crew.

Brad still trying to land the Space Shuttle without killing the crew.




Chris in a capsule

Chris in a capsule


As we prepare to go to the Northwest, we share another experience from here in the Southwest!! (Part 1)

Man does time fly!!! Seems like yesterday we were leaving San Antonio, Texas and headed here. In 3 days we are leaving here and headed North!!! This has been a great experience so far. We have seen things none of us had ever seen, ate foods we never imagined eating, and done things that were a blast. Hopefully Washington will bring the same thing.

But, we still have some things from here to share with you. Like March 28, 2015. We call this Chris’s Day. It was everything he likes Aliens, Space, and Ghosts!! We started the day in Roswell, NM. Most of us may have heard about the ‘Roswell Incident’ at some time in our life. Maybe we heard some exaggerated tail or something close to the facts. Below is the Roswell Incident from the UFO Museum Website.

The Crash Near Roswell

An unidentified flying object crashed on a ranch northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, sometime during the first week of July 1947.
BrazelRancher W.W. “Mack” Brazel said later he found debris from the crash as he and the son of Floyd and Loretta Proctor rode their horses out to check on sheep after a fierce thunderstorm the night before. Brazel said that as they rode along, he began to notice unusual pieces of what seemed to be metal debris scattered over a large area. Upon further inspection, he said, he saw a shallow trench several hundred feet long had been gouged into the ground.
Brazel said he was struck by the unusual properties of the debris and, after dragging large pieces of it to a shed, he took some of it over to show the Proctors.
Mrs. Proctor, who later moved from the ranch to a house closer to town, said she remembers Brazel showing up with the strange material.

The Proctors told Brazel he might be holding wreckage from an alien spacecraft — a number of UFO sightings had been reported in the United States that summer — or a government project, and that he should report the incident to Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox.

Maj Jesse MarcelA day or two later, Brazel drove into Roswell, the county seat, and reported the incident to Wilcox, who reported it to Maj. Jesse Marcel, intelligence officer for the 509th Bomb Group, stationed at Roswell Army Air Field.
In their book, A History of UFO Crashes, UFO researchers Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle say their research shows military radar had been tracking an unidentified flying object in the skies over southern New Mexico for four days. On the night of July 4, 1947, radar indicated the object had gone down about 30-40 miles northwest of Roswell.
The book says eyewitness William Woody, who lived east of Roswell, said he remembered being outside with his father the night of July 4, 1947, when he saw a brilliant object plunge to the ground.
The debris site was closed for several days while the wreckage was cleared, and Schmitt and Randle say that when Woody and his father tried to locate the area of the crash they had seen, Woody said they were stopped by military personnel who ordered them out of the area.


Col William BlanchardSchmitt and Randle say Marcel, after receiving the call from Wilcox and subsequent orders from Col. William Blanchard, 509th commanding officer, went to investigate Brazel’s report. Marcel and Capt. Sheridan Cavitt, senior Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) agent, followed the rancher off-road to his place. They spent the night there and Marcel inspected a large piece of debris Brazel had dragged from the pasture.
Monday morning, July 7, Marcel took his first step onto the debris field. Marcel would remark later that “something … must have exploded above the ground and fell.” As Brazel, Cavitt and Marcel inspected the field, Marcel was able to “determine which direction it came from, and which direction it was heading. It was in the pattern … you could tell where it started out and where it ended by how it was thinned out …”

According to Marcel, the debris was “strewn over a wide area, I guess maybe three-quarters of a mile long and a few hundred feet wide.” Scattered in the debris were small bits of metal that Marcel held a cigarette lighter to see if it would burn.
Along with the metal, Marcel described weightless “I”-beam-like structures that were three-eights inch by one-quarter inch, none of them very long, that would neither bend nor break. Some of these “I”-beams had indecipherable characters along the length, in two colors. Marcel also described metal debris the thickness of tinfoil that was indestructible.
After gathering enough debris to fill his staff car, Marcel decided to stop by his home on the way back to the base so he could show his family the unusual debris. He’d never seen anything quite like it.
“I didn’t know what we were picking up,” he said. “I still don’t know what it was … It could not have been part of an aircraft, not part of any kind of weather balloon or experimental balloon … I’ve seen rockets … sent up at the White Sands Testing Grounds. It definitely was not part of an aircraft or missile or rocket.”
Under hypnosis conducted by Dr. John Watkins in May 1990, Jesse Marcel Jr. remembered being awakened by his father that night and following him outside to help carry in a large box filled with debris. Once inside, they emptied the contents of the debris onto the kitchen floor.
Jesse Jr. described the lead foil and “I”-beams. Under hypnosis, he recalled the writing on the “I”-beams as “Purple. Strange. Never saw anything like it … different geometric shapes, leaves and circles.”
Under questioning, he said the symbols were shiny purple and they were small. There were many separate figures. This too, under hypnosis: [Marcel Sr. was saying it was a flying saucer] “I ask him what a flying saucer is. I don’t know what a flying saucer is … It’s a ship. [Dad’s] excited!”
Marcel reported what he found to Blanchard, showing him pieces of the wreckage, none of which looked like anything Blanchard had ever seen.


Meanwhile, Glenn Dennis, a young mortician working at Ballard Funeral Home, received some curious calls one afternoon from the RAAF morgue. The base’s mortuary officer was trying to get hold of some small, hermetically sealed coffins and also wanted to know how to preserve bodies that had been exposed to the elements for a few days and avoid contaminating the tissue.
Dennis later said that evening he drove to the base hospital, where he saw large pieces of wreckage with strange engravings on one of the pieces sticking out of the back of a military ambulance. He entered the hospital and was visiting with a nurse he knew when suddenly he was threatened by military police and forced to leave.
The next day, Dennis met with the nurse, who told him about bodies discovered with the wreckage and drew pictures of them on a prescription pad. Within a few days she was transferred to England; her whereabouts remain unknown.

Roswell Army Air Field Press Release

Lt Walter HautAt 11 a.m., July 8, 1947, Lt. Walter Haut, RAAF public information officer, finished a press release Blanchard had ordered him to write, stating that the wreckage of a crashed disk had been recovered.
Roswell Daily Record, 8 July 1947 He gave copies to the two radio stations and both of the local newspapers. By 2:26 p.m., the story was on The Associated Press wire:
“The Army Air Forces here today announced a flying disk had been found.”
As calls began to pour into the base from all over the world, Lt. Robert Shirkey watched as MPs carried loaded wreckage onto a C-54 from the First Transport Unit.
To get a better look, Shirkey stepped around Col. Blanchard, who was irritated with all of the calls coming into the base. Blanchard decided to travel out to the debris field and left instructions that he’d gone on leave.

Headquarters Gets Involved

Blanchard had sent Marcel to Fort Worth Army Air Field (later Carswell Air Force Base) to report to Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, commanding officer of the 8th Air Force.
Gen Ramey and Maj MarcelMarcel told Haut years later that he’d taken some of the debris into Ramey’s office to show him what had been found. The material was displayed on Ramey’s desk for the general when he returned.
Upon his return, Ramey wanted to see the exact location of the debris field, so he and Marcel went to the map room down the hall — but when they returned, the wreckage that had been placed on the desk was gone and a weather balloon was spread out on the floor. Maj. Charles A. Cashon took the now-famous photo of Marcel with the weather balloon in Ramey’s office.
It was then reported that Ramey recognized the remains as part of a weather balloon. Brig. Gen. Thomas DuBose, the chief of staff of the 8th Air Force, said, “[It] was a cover story. The whole balloon part of it. That was the part of the story we were told to give to the public and news and that was it.”
Roswell Daily Record, 9 July 1947 Later that afternoon, Haut’s original press release was rescinded and an officer from the base retrieved all of the copies from the radio stations and newspaper offices. The next day, July 9, a second press release was issued stating that the 509th Bomb Group had mistakenly identified a weather balloon as wreckage of a flying saucer.
On July 9, as reports went out that the crashed object was actually a weather balloon, cleanup crews were busily clearing the debris. Bud Payne, a rancher at Corona, was trying to round-up a stray when he was spotted by the military and carried off the Foster ranch. Broadcaster Judd Roberts and Walt Whitmore were turned away as they approached the debris field.
As the wreckage was brought to the base, it was crated and stored in a hangar.
Rancher Harrassed Back in town, Walt Whitmore and Lyman Strickland saw their friend, Mack Brazel, who was being escorted to the Roswell Daily Record by three military officers. He ignored Whitmore and Strickland, which was not at all like Mack, and once he got to the Roswell Daily Record offices, he changed his story. He now claimed to have found the debris on June 14. Brazel also mentioned that he’d found weather observation devices on two other occasions, but what he found this time was no weather balloon.
The Las Vegas Review Journal, along with dozens of other newspapers, carried the AP story:

“Reports of flying saucers whizzing through the sky fell off sharply today as the Army and the Navy began a concentrated campaign to stop the rumors.”
The story also reported that AAF Headquarters in Washington had “delivered a blistering rebuke to officers at Roswell.”
The military has tried to convince the news media from that day forward that the object found near Roswell was nothing more than a weather balloon.

Now some may say this is a conspiracy by the government to cover up the truth. Others say this was nothing more than a weather balloon. Me, I feel that too many people saw the ship and bodies for it not to be possibly true.

Take me to your leader

Take me to your leader

There is nothing to see here, move along, move along...

There is nothing to see here, move along, move along…

The Happy Couple!!!

The Happy Couple!!!

UFO Museum

UFO Museum

The Boys!!!

The Boys!!!



My Son’s Wedding

I cannot believe this time last week I was in Salt Lake City getting ready for my son, Steven Widener, to be sealed to his fiancé for time and all eternity. To say that Dianne and myself were excited is an understatement. Steven came into our lives about three years ago. He lived with us for most of that time. He was a good young man and Chris’s best friend. He had recently joined the church. He was needing a place to stay and we needed a dog sitter for a week, and the rest is history. We could not be happier for him and Kayla. She is EXACTLY what he needs in his life. The joy of I being a witness and Dianne sitting in the seat reserved for the mother in the Sealing Room was such an honor. Dianne danced the Mother/Groom Dance with him. She was extremely touched. We wish them both the best in their marriage.

The Wideners

The Wideners

We also visited Temple Square and the Visitor Centers, Old Tabernacle Building, and the Temple itself. Dianne and I did a session in the temple it was a great experience.

DSC01521 DSC01540 DSC01527 DSC01545 DSC01548 DSC01551

Dianne also wanted to visit BYU Campus. She attended there back 25 years ago. She found her old dorm building. The campus has changed a great deal since she attended there.


Dianne with the sign for her old Dorm

Later this weekend I will go back in time and do a post on our trip to Roswell, New Mexico….Spooky Alien Stuff, New Mexico Space Museum, and our Ghost Tour of the Amador Hotel!!!!! You won’t want to miss that post!


El Paso, Border Town and So Much More

Greetings from the Leiter’s and a Holt in Las Cruces! We have really been enjoying the desert climate. Dry air with warm days and cool nights. Monday it rained almost the entire day which is very unusual for here this time of year. This also suppose to be the windy season. We get some gust upwards of 20 MPH to 30 MPH in the afternoon, but nothing what normally happens this time of year. Many of the HAM operators keep talking about by now the area should have had a few dust storms. We, of course are thankful for the slack windy season this year.

Last Sunday Bradley, Dianne, and myself gave talks at church. We enjoyed the opportunity to share something from the gospel and share our testimonies. Bradley had his Board of Review for Life Scout on Sunday. He has exactly 6 months to get Eagle. We shall see….

Mid-March we went to El Paso to visit the El Paso Zoo and The Border Patrol Museum. The Zoo is like two blocks from the border crossing between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The contrast between the American Side and The Mexican Side is like night and day. You can see the poverty in the structures. The building standards in Mexico are obviously much more lenient than America. Ciudad Juarez is off-limits to Military Personal. The gang and drug cartel violence is extremely high. And then factor in corrupt police agencies and you can see why it is off-limits. Americans are high dollar targets and kidnappings do occur. We stopped at a Wal-Mart about 1/2 mile from the border. It was amazing how little English I heard. Many of the cars in the parking lot were from Mexico. And the stuff they were buying in large quantities ramen, fresh produce, rice just to name a few. The dangers and issues on the border are everything they say they are.

The El Paso Zoo was really cool. They have 3 areas Americas, Asia, and Africa. They had all kinds of animals to see.

DSC01218 DSC01230 DSC01237 DSC01278 DSC01295 DSC01334 DSC01354DSC01324 DSC01245DSC01362

We had a great time. I never took Brad to the zoo before. So like a good dad I bought him a stuffed wolf. He was so happy!!!

After the Zoo we went to the Border Patrol Museum. A little background, the Border Patrol was created in El Paso, Texas. Many agents have lost their lives in securing our border with Mexico. There are over, I believe, 4000 total agents. only 300 agents cover the entire northern border. The balance of agents are on the Southern Border. And they cannot keep up.

DSC01369 DSC01374 DSC01365 DSC01366DSC01371 DSC01380 DSC01377 DSC01378DSC01363DSC01364

Until next time my friends, stay classy!!!!


To all our followers, our apologizes

We have been very neglectful of our blog site. To all of you that follow us we offer our sincerest apologizes. We have done a lot here in Las Cruces, New Mexico since we have arrived. I will spend the next week catching y’all up on our adventures to date.

The road between San Antonio and El Paso Texas is long and desolate. There are the remains of towns, run down towns, and some thriving towns. These towns live and die by the oil and natural gas industry that creates them. With crude being so low per barrel, more and more of these towns are suffering. It made for a long and less than exciting ride.

We have finally set up the Gypsy Caravan Wagon. One of our upcoming blogs will be a picture tour of the homestead. We are very pleased with our purchase. The RV life is SOOO much better than the ‘Extended Stay Hotels’. The dogs love the freedom of the RV Park and it’s dog run.

Southern New Mexico has a thriving Pecan industry. I thought Georgia had it going on, but these cats have amazing Pecan Orchards and it is all watered by well and river collection. Not much rain falls here, so they count on a good snow melt up North and in Colorado to fill the Rio Grande River for a brief amount of time.

I grew up in what I thought was dairy farm country, and by all practical standards it is. But right outside of Las Cruces, NM, along I-10, is a massive dairy farm operation. The farm stretches for miles and probably has 60,000 plus head of dairy cows. Of course if the wind is blowing right, travel along I-10 can be quite “fragrant” to say the least. If you travel south toward the Mexico border you find numerous dairy farm operations. Quite a site in this desert oasis.

Shortly after we got here we made a weekend trip to Salt Lake City, Utah to visit with Chris and his friend Jaden. We also got to be a part of our adopted son Steven’s Priesthood Confirmation. It was an awesome quick trip. The trip to Utah was interesting. We traveled through several Federal Indian Reservations. Everyone had a casino or casinos. These casinos employ many of the residents of the reservation. You see many Native Americans walking. Many of the homes you see our run down mobile homes. There seemed to be lots of places to buy alcohol and cigarettes. Many of the Native Americans you see look broken and tired. I will let you form your own opinions on how a once prideful people has come to this.

Anyway, keep an eye out for more blog posts very soon. We have been to the border, the El Paso Zoo, Border Patrol Museum and some other great places to tell you about. Tons of pictures to share as well!!

Until next time, be safe!!!


Las Cruces, The Leiter Clan Have Arrived!

We made it!! We arrived in the evening on Sunday, January 25, 2015. Dianne started work the next day. We cut it close waiting on the RV and unfortunately left without it. Brad and I went back on Tuesday and drove back on Wednesday with our brand new RV. We traveled over 1600 miles over 4 days. I was pretty worn out. We own a 28′, 2015 Homestead Prowler. The camper has one slide out, bunk beds and a master bedroom. The trailer is light and rides very nicely behind the truck. The truck does not like the trailer and has expressed its displeasure by cutting our gas mileage down to 7 – 9 MPG. My Jeep Wrangler gets better MPG than that!!! With the slide out. the dogs have more room than the hotel/motel rooms we have stayed in. Plus we bought some kennel fencing so the dogs have a little place outside to hangout with us. A bonus here is this RV Park, Hacienda RV Park, has a fenced area for dogs to run off leash. It is nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy the sun or moon. If I wanted to sit outside anywhere else on our journey it would have been in a parking space! I will post pics and more on the RV once we finish getting everything set up!

Dianne is very happy with this facility so far. They seem much more organized than the last location and have worked with traveling nurses for a while. She spent the first week shadowing and doing small things. She did not start orientation until this past Monday, today is her last day of orientation. She is on call this Friday night.

Traffic here is much lighter than San Antonio. Getting around here is very easy. Las Cruces is not a big town, maybe about the same size as Augusta, Georgia without the craziness. We are enjoying the desert weather, clear and 70’s during the day and star lit and 40’s at night. The dogs are having to adjust to minimal grass. The RV Park has places of grass, but not a bunch. We also have a beautiful view of the Organ Mountains. I am hoping to take the Jeep exploring next week. Lots to see here. And lots of places to wheel the Jeep.

Until next time……..


Cedar Fever!!!

Well, we are finally leaving for Las Cruces, New Mexico. Driving up on Sunday and Dianne starts work on Monday. We had planned to be out of here on Tuesday, but…… We will cover that later.

We have had allergy problems since we got here. Brad never has problems with allergies. Well Cedar Pollen will mess you up! We all are looking forward to getting out of this Cedar haven!!!! The locals here call it “Cedar Fever”!!

We took a trip to Corpus Christie, Texas. I was not impressed. Don’t get me wrong the beach area is nice. They have a small downtown of skyscrapers. Outside of that it was places for oil and gas field workers to live. The highlight was taking the tour of the USS Lexington aircraft carrier. I have never been on a naval vessel before. WOW!! That was really a neat experience. I will have some pictures at the end of the blog. As we were leaving Corpus Christie we drove a different route home. It routed us through the windmill fields. I have never seen such a sight. Dianne and Brad made fun of me because of my reaction. But honestly it was really cool. Hundreds of windmills generating energy.

Last weekend we got a craving for home and drove about an hour to the Waffle House in Austin, Texas. Ain’t nothing in the world like a chicken sandwich plate; scattered, smothered, and covered!! And of course the waffle!! We miss Waffle House. On the way back we stopped at the Tanger’s Outlet and did a little shopping for our RV (Travel Trailer) and I got some new Crocs.

So we are purchasing an RV. We are buying a brand new, 28 foot travel trailer with one slide out. The small motel rooms have gotten OLD. RV parks offer so many amenities and have places for the dogs to run. Plus I can sit outside and enjoy myself.

Dianne Johnson Leiter's photo. Master Bedroom

Dianne Johnson Leiter's photo. Bunk Beds

Dianne Johnson Leiter's photo. Overview of inside

So the RV purchase leads us to why we are leaving so late in the week. We decided to withdraw the funds from Dianne’s retirement to purchase the RV. No payments means no headaches!! Two plus weeks ago we started the process to obtain the funds. We faxed in the appropriate paperwork and waited……and waited……. and did not receive the funds. She called and they told her that there was a problem with the paperwork and she had to resubmit it. She asked them why they did not call and let us know. They said they do not call but send a letter, nice! So we resubmitted the paperwork. Then an unusual snow event hit parts of Texas. Amarillo, Texas got 12 inches of snow and shut down for a day or two. Guess where her request gets processed and the funds get released to our bank account from. Yup, Amarillo, Texas!! We waited as long as we could. Brad and I will come back and get the RV next week when the money arrives. Murphy’s Law was written for us.

This week Brad got to experience Joe’s Crab Shack. He truly enjoyed the experience.

Robert Leiter's photo.

Friday was National Pie Day. We went to Marie Callender’s for lunch and had a slice of pie!!! And they had all pies half price………yes we bought a whole pie!!!

Until next time from Las Cruces………

DSC00992 DSC00995 DSC01007 DSC01100 DSC00983 DSC01101 DSC01164 DSC01174 DSC01193